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Lanigan wins Firecracker 100 at Lernerville

Dan Speicher | For Valley News Dispatch
Darrell Lanigan (29) races past fans during the World of Outlaws Firecracker 100 heat races at Lernerville Speedway on Saturday June 28, 2014.

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By Thomas Zuck
Sunday, June 29, 2014, 12:57 a.m.

A light but consistent rain hit Lernerville Speedway just before the main event hit the track, and that led to a 1 hour, 45 minute delay Saturday for the World of Outlaws Firecracker 100 for Late Models.

The rain started again with 10 laps left, and the race was called, giving Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., his first Firecracker 100 and 60th career WoO feature win.

Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., finished second, followed by John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., and Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis.

For Lanigan, it was a much-welcomed win. He had finished second four times and third once.

The Uncle Sam 30 was rescheduled to run with the WoO Late Models Working Man 50 on Aug. 29. World of Outlaws and Lernerville officials announced during the delay that if the track crew could get on the track by 11 p.m., which they did, they would attempt to complete the 100-lap Firecracker and the Uncle Sam 30. The main event finally had a green flag at 11:33 p.m.

Davenport grabbed the lead on lap 12, and from there, he carved his way through the field, building a solid lead before each caution. The first caution came 31 laps in.

Another caution with 36 laps complete brought an end to the night for Austin Hubbard and Jimmy Owens. Gregg Satterlee's night ended with what was thought to be a broken shock on lap 41. Boom Briggs struggled, and on lap 44, he brought out a caution for the third time but didn't leave the race.

Davenport dominated until lap 67 when he rolled to a stop on the back straight. He said it was a driveshaft or transmission.

Lanigan inherited the lead with Bloomquist in second, Blankenship in third, McDowell in fourth and Rick Eckert in fifth.

After two full nights of racing, Saturday's show didn't include time trials. There were heat races, B-Mains and then the two main features.

Once the heat races started, it didn't take long for sparks to fly.

In the first heat, there was contact three laps in that involved Shane Clanton, Chub Frank and Mason Zeigler. That sent Clanton to the pits, and when he came back on the track, he was ruled to have made intentional contact with Frank's car. Clanton, the 2010 Firecracker champion, was black-flagged from the heat race and, per World of Outlaws rules, was ruled out for the night.

In the infield, Clanton voiced his displeasure with World of Outlaws official Tim Christman. After he was done there, he had a few choice words for Frank, who was in the lineup area for the first of the three B-Mains. Clanton eventually was persuaded to leave and return to his hauler.

Owens, who won Thursday, claimed the first heat without difficulty, followed by Ferree and Clint Smith.

Things calmed down for the second heat as Lanigan held off McDowell and Mike Marlar for the win.

In the third heat, Bloomquist dominated. Timmy Fuller finished second, and Davey Johnson was third.

Jonathan Davenport won the fifth heat with Dan Stone in second and Miley in third.

Once the heat races were completed, the three B-Mains hit the track, and in the firs,t it was Frank who rebounded to take the checkered flag. Austin Hubbard was second, and he earned the final transfer spot from that B-Main.

In the second B-Main, 2010-11 Lernerville champion Dave Hess Jr. had little trouble claiming the checkered flag. In 2006, Hess became the only Lernerville regular — or local driver — to lead a WoO race at the track.

The real battle was between Gregg Satterlee and Morgan Bagley for second. The two traded the spot over a few laps, and Satterlee earned it. Bagley used a WoO provisional spot for the feature.

In the third and final B-Main, Mike Benedum earned a spot in the feature followed by Chase Junghans.

Thomas Zuck is a freelance writer.

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